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To arrange interviews with Cal State L.A.’s Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral
Scholars, please contact the Public Affairs office at Cal State L.A.,
10 CSULA graduate students selected as
Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars
2010-11 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars: (seated, l-r) Yvonne Ribas, Brian Gatza, Isabel Martinez, Amira Ainis, Juan Landeras, Pablo Victoria Torres, (standing, l-r) Lucy Tambara, Nicholas Beyelia, Jose Esqueda, and Juan D. Ochoa.
Los Angeles, CA
– To focus on doctoral studies ranging from archival preservation
to wildlife ecology, ten Cal State L.A. graduate students were
selected for the 2010-11
Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar awards.
Each scholar will receive a $3,000 award, covering travel expenses to
doctoral-granting institutions and to attend professional conferences as
well as fees for college applications and graduate exams.
Since 1998, more than 145 students from Cal State L.A. have been
recognized as Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars. More than 50 percent
of the CSULA students have entered top-ranking doctoral programs
throughout the United States and in several foreign countries.
The following CSULA scholars will explore the prospect of doctoral
An anthropology graduate student, Amira Ainis (Alhambra resident)
would like to conduct research on island and coastal archaeology in the
Channel Islands and Baja, California, focusing on human-environment
interactions and historical ecology of island ecosystems.
A history graduate student, Nicholas Beyelia (Temple City
resident) plans to pursue a Ph.D. in public history, with an emphasis on
teaching archival science and conducting archival preservation.
A social work graduate student, Jose Esqueda (Long Beach
resident) indicated that he would like to further his education in
“areas that best improve the social and emotional lives of others.”
A graduate student in the environmental science program with a
concentration in environmental biology, Brian Gatza (Chino
resident) would like to pursue a doctoral degree in wildlife ecology and
to conduct research related to the management and conservation of
wildlife species native to the United States.
Anthropology graduate student Juan Landeros (L.A.-Boyle Heights
resident) is interested in studying migration among indigenous Mexican
cultures. He has conducted research throughout Los Angeles, California,
and the Sierra Norte of Oaxaca, Mexico, among Zapotec communities to
understand the phenomenon of cultural change introduced through
transnational associations. He has also investigated ceremonial
activities, such as fiestas, and their impact on cultural identity among
second generation Zapotecs born in the United States.
A Latin American Studies graduate student, Isabel Martinez (Los
Angeles resident) is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in public
health. Her research delves into the sexual behavior and attitudes of
adolescent Latina girls residing in Mexico, Guatemala and the United
A Chicana/o Studies graduate student, Juan D. Ochoa (Los Angeles
resident) is interested in pursuing a doctorate in an interdisciplinary
program where he can explore the intersections of race, class, gender,
and sexuality. His current research, an oral history project, focuses on
the LGBT Chicana/o undergraduate organization, La Familia at UCLA,
during the 1990s.
An education graduate student, Yvonne Lau Ribas (Tujunga
resident) plans to pursue a doctoral degree in educational foundations
and policy, with a research emphasis on how language policy can lead to
improved educational equity for all students. With 13 years of
experience teaching English language students, she is most interested in
research concerning second language acquisition and policies in English
A history graduate student, Lucy Tambara (Banning resident) plans
to pursue a doctoral degree in the history of U.S. international
relations/ global history. Her current research project looks at
non-secular development theory and the cultural politics of the
Seventh-Day Adventist Church’s faith-based nongovernmental organization,
Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), from 1965-1995.
A sociology graduate student, Pablo Victoria Torres (Corona
resident) has diverse research interests, which include such areas as
family violence, steroids use among various populations, and
globalization and its effects on popular culture. Additionally, he would
like to focus on the more theoretical aspect of sociological thought;
particularly adding to the theoretical framework that looks into
converging the micro and macro units of sociological analysis.
Additionally, the following two Cal State L.A. students received
honorable mentions: Mexican American Studies major Jessica Artiga
(Rialto resident) and Latin American Studies major Susana Morales
(Los Angeles resident).
There were more than 200 students from the 23 CSU campuses who applied
and only 70 students were selected in total. For a list of the 2010-11
scholars, go to
The award honors the late Sally Casanova, who launched the program in
1989. A member of the CSU Chancellor’s Office staff during the 1960s,
Casanova also served as associate vice president for academic affairs
and dean of graduate studies at CSU Dominguez Hills, from 1991 until her
death in 1994. She was married to Cal State L.A. chemistry professor
(now emeritus) Joseph Casanova.
For more information on the program, contact Alan Muchlinski, associate
dean of Graduate Studies at Cal State L.A., (323) 343-3820.
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